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Midnight Lab Band – Mission Control review

Brooklyn producers E’s E and Oneman have joined forces to enjoy the chilled side of beats on their Midnight Lab Band project. Taking their cues from classic 90’s Ninja Tune, Kruder and Dorfmeister and Nightmares on Wax, they’ve created six stunning tunes for your laidback appreciation.

Opener “Into Dimensions” carries a jazzy swagger as the steady beats are built on until they disappear in a torrent of dub-style delay, replaced by a sole wailing electric guitar. It’s strange but it works so well, demonstrating the pleasing range of sounds that are scattered over Mission Control. “Moonwalking” starts off as a slightly downbeat and moody Latin funk jam before it reduces to just a beat. Suddenly the bass switches and starts to play the riff from Billie Jean and the tune is transformed.

“Heliocenter” concentrates on trippy soundscapes over a dubby beat, while “Traveller’s Lament” mixes up funky drums with eerie string stabs that balances the mood nicely. “Decompression” also does a delicate dance between upbeat and downbeat, putting some plaintive Rhodes piano on top of some Holy Ghost-style beats. Anyone with an affinity for the golden days of trip-hop will instantly appreciate where MLB are coming from, but there’s so much more to this release that fans of a wide variety of genres will definitely be rewarded, such is their winning eclecticism and skill.

Review: Oliver Keens